Mile Markers: Slowly but Surely

Mile Markers: Week in Running, Hiking, and Life May 30-June 5

It’s been just about a month since I sprained my foot and I have almost returned to my normal running routine! My mileage is low and my pace is easy, but this week I got in four runs and each mile felt wonderful. My foot feels only a bit tender or sensitive on certain surfaces or steep inclines, but I haven’t experienced any pain in weeks. And on top of that good news? I also got my haircut very short and it feels so good on summer runs. 

Mile Markers: Week in Running, Hiking, and Life May 30-June 5

Since the risk of spraining my foot again is high as it recovers, I’m slowly increasing my mileage back to where I was, avoiding any speed work for the next few weeks, and completing arch and ankle strengthening exercises a few days a week. I don’t start marathon training for the California International Marathon until the start of August, so I have plenty of time to build my base back up. 

Today starts the Fall 2016 Marathon Training Group! I have five wonderful women who are training for fall marathons across the country and am so excited to train and support them on their journeys. 

Monday: 4 mile trail run + 4 mile training hike

For Memorial Day, Ryan and I decided to finally try both trail running and a nearby hiking trail. We packed up Charlie, food, and coffee into my car early on Monday and headed down to Bridle Trails State Park in Redmond for a trail run. Bridle Trails is, as the name indicates, a series of trails for horsebacking riding, but it’s a popular option for trail running on the Eastside of Seattle, especially if you’re running with your dog.

Trail running was so fun! Ryan has been saying throughout the week how we should do this again. Traffic in Seattle doesn’t make this a practical option for weekday runs, but it most certainly can be done on the weekends. Bridle Trails has soft dirt trails with gentle rolling hills (most of it is a 1-3% incline). We arrived early enough to beat the horses, although we still dodged plenty of piles of manure along the way. 

Mile Markers: Week in Running, Hiking, and Life May 30-June 5

Afterwards, we picnicked on coffee and oatmeal while enjoying the scenery. We brought our Jetboil, which is a small gas stove we use for backpacking, along with us so we could enjoy a freshly cooked warm meal after our run. 

Then we headed to the Woodinville wine valley for a hike! The Tolt Pipeline trail cuts through Woodinville and is popular for training for hikes. We met some people with huge backpacks training for summiting Mt. Rainier! The first big hill ascending out of the wine valley is known as Heart Attack Hill because of its brutal grade averaging 23%, but then the trail levels off to lesser grades of about 1-8%. You actually can’t see the hill in the photo, only where the trail suddenly plummets down and out of sight. We only hiked 2 miles out before turning around, since the gravel surface didn’t feel good under my healing foot and we forgot water for Charlie. 

Mile Markers: Week in Running, Hiking, and Life May 30-June 5

We may have months of grey skies and drizzly rain in Seattle, but when the blue skies arrive, they are stunning! 

Tuesday: 6 miles easy run

After all of the hills the previous day, I opted for a flat and easy run along the river to let my legs recover. 

Wednesday: AM: 5 miles easy run; PM: 30 minutes strength training

One of the new-to-me trails I discovered recently goes along some decent hills, and since I need more hills in my running life I am planning on running a couple times a week along it. The hills are nothing seriously by Seattle standards, but most of the running trails near me are flat (going through the wine valley and rivers and lakes). 

Thursday: AM: 35 minutes/5 miles on the elliptical; PM: 30 minutes Pilates

Shortly after my workout I headed down to Woodinville for lunch and a long walk with Ryan along the river before my haircut. I had very long hair, as you could probably tell from pictures – it reached down to near the bottom of my rib cage. I was sick of detangling it and spending forever drying it, and since backpacking season and summer running are in full swing, it was time for a shorter haircut. I wanted to cut my hair just longer than shoulder length, but I realized with a few more inches off I could donate it while still being able to pull in back for running.

So I cut 10 inches off! I’m pretty sure between the length and thickness of my hair that haircut was the quickest way to lose a couple pounds. My hair hasn’t been this short since Ryan and I started dating over 5 years ago. I love the new cut! 

Mile Markers: Week in Running, Hiking, and Life May 30-June 5

Friday: 8 mile easy run

It had been 4 weeks since my last long run, and while 8 miles isn’t technically “long” in terms of marathon training, it felt so good to run for a longer distance. I missed being out there for over an hour. My new haircut felt so good on my run – no braid whipping me, less flyaways, and no hair sticking to the back of my neck when I sweat. 

Mile Markers: Week in Running, Hiking, and Life May 30-June 5

I don’t eat a lot of sweets other than dark chocolate, but I can’t pass up donuts on National Donut Day. Donuts are my favorite dessert and after my run I enjoyed a Top Pot double chocolate donut, which was decadent but so good! If you’re ever in the Seattle area (Seattle proper or Eastside), you need to stop at Top Pot donuts. I actually had their donuts for my birthday last year instead of cake, they are that good. 

Saturday: ~5 miles backpacking

We hiked up to Goat Lake via the Lower Elliot Trail, which is where we went in early May. This time we brought our tent and camped near the water. Even though last weekend was cold and rainy, this week was hot – temperatures in the 80s – so camping in the mountains brought some welcome respite from the heat. 

I think I’m a decent enough hiker, but backpacking is still very hard for me. My pack wasn’t adjusted properly for the first half of this hike which made the 15-20 pounds feel more like 30 pounds, and I struggled through part of this hike even though the elevation gain was only 1200 feet total. 

But it was so worth it once we arrived, set up our campsite, and spent the rest of the day relaxing by the lake. 

Mile Markers: Week in Running, Hiking, and Life May 30-June 5

Sunday: 6 miles backpacking

Sunday we enjoy the easy hike down from Goat Lake via the Upper Elliot, which is longer but less technical. I’m still a bit paranoid about the risk of spraining by foot again, especially when hiking downhill, but this portion of the hike went very well. What a difference a well fitting and packed backpack makes! 6 miles flew by! 

[Tweet “Trail running, backpacking, and finally back to running via @thisrunrecipes #findyourstong #running #sweatpink”]

Linking up with Weekly Wrap!

Have you ever gone trail running?
Are your normal running routes flat, hilly, or a mixture of both?
What’s your favorite dessert? 

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29 Responses

  1. All your pictures are amazing! And I love the new haircut! I occasionally run on trails, but I have to drive to the longer ones and usually I just opt to run closer to my house. Its definitely a nice change though! Its mostly hilly around here. Nothing too intense, but definitely not flat like it was when I lived in the city!

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! Trail running here is a long drive also, but it is so nice to get out there sometimes on the weekends if possible. I bet those hills you run on are really benefitting your running!

  2. You haircut looks super cute! I’ve never had super long hair but I cut 4 inches off a few months ago and it feels great. Perfect for summer! And that view…swoon! Glad you are on your way back to full strength!

  3. So happy for you that you are back at it! If you wouldn’t mind sharing, I’d be interested to hear what ankle/arch exercises have worked for you as you rehab! 🙂 BTW your hair…so cute!

    1. Thank you! For arch strength I do calf raises at a very slow pace (both feet together then single leg), scrunch a towel with my toes, do an exercise where I lift just my big toes and then just my other 4 toes, and dorsiflexion with a resistance band – all about 20-30 reps each.

  4. I love love love your hair! Short hair is the best. I’m so happy you’re running again–I think this week I’m going to test out my foot too! So fingers crossed. Your hiking pics always make me so jealous of where you live, they’re so stunning. I’ve never done trail running before but I would for those views!

    1. Thank you so much Jen! I really hope running goes well for you! Trail running is definitely great for the views, and then there’s something so fun about getting out in the dirt and trees and just running. 🙂

  5. The haircut is really cute! Perfect for the hotter weather. My hair is nice long but I will admit the humidity makes the ponytail feel heavier, I just don’t want to cut it though!!

    Glad you got some runs in and some cross training. Considering the injury, I think you’re doing a great job and you’ll be in good shape when you start training again. My favorite dessert is definitely ice cream though, not a big donut fan. I think the cold ice cream just tastes good when it’s hot out…

    1. Thank you! I had long hair for quite a while because I didn’t want to cut it, and then one day I was just like nope, this needs to go! I wasn’t going to go so short until I realized I could donate it. I bet the humidity does leave your hair feeling heavy – humidity is like a bicycle pump for hair!

    1. If you’re ever in the Seattle area let me know and we can go on a hike! So excited to have you in the group – good luck on your first workout tomorrow! 🙂

  6. Just last week I was beginning to think about starting to run in Bridle Trails (on the weekends, at least). My BF says “get some pepper spray, then you can run on trails…until then, stay off the trails”. 😉 I have begun looking at a series of trails runs to try and tackle in 2017.

    Sounds like you had a wonderful week with running, hiking, camping…everything.

    Hope you have a great Monday, Laura!!

    1. There’s no bears or anything to worry about at Bridle Trails! All the times we’ve been there the most you have to look out for is a horse or manure. There are a lot of good trail races out here – I’ve heard the ones at Soaring Eagle and Redmond Watershed are excellent!

  7. I love your new haircut! Last year, I was in the same situation as you, with really long hair and then I cut it waaayyy shorter, to shoulder length. I’m never looking back! I was amazed by how much more comfortable I was in the hot weather and how much faster it dried!
    Double chocolate donuts are my absolute favorite! I’m really not that into chocolate, but it all changes when donuts are involved. That one looks to die for!

    1. Thank you! It already amazes me how quickly it dries – and what a difference in really does make for running and hiking in warmer weather! That donut was so good – chocolate donuts are my favorite to and always worth the treat!

  8. I love the new haircut! It looks like you had a great time this weekend on your backpacking trip! I’ll have to check out the Bridle trail sometime! I’m always at a loss when trying to pick one when my friends and I decide to go hiking. We usually stick to Mt. Si or the trails around Rattlesnake. I’ve also done Twin Falls, which is beautiful but pretty short. Big Si and Mailbox are two hikes that are on my to do list! Hope you’re week is off to a good start!

    1. Thank you! Bridle trails is so worth checking out – a little forest of trails just tucked right off 405 in Redmond, I love it! Big Si is so fun to hike – we did it in winter and the incline is relentless but the views are great. Have you done Snow Lake? It’s not that much further down 90 from Mount Si but it’s a bit less steep and so incredibly beautiful at the top. Although supposedly there’s still snow up there now even!

  9. I’m totally obsessed with your hair and I want to cut mine now, although all I have to do is scroll back and see pictures of myself with short hair and I remember that I look like Darth Vader. So, I won’t. But I love yours. I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE RUNNING AGAIN! This makes me very happy.

    1. Now the Darth Vader leitmotif is playing in my head! Thank you so much – if it’s anything, I think you would look great with short hair! Mine triangles out also but since I always wear it up it’s no big deal. And I’m glad also, thank you!!!

  10. Wow! That’s a beautiful picture from your camping trip. I can’t imagine hiking with all the gear. I’m glad to hear your foot is doing better. I don’t eat donuts often but my favorite is a sour cream cake donut. Thanks for linking with us Laura.

    1. Thank you! We don’t bring a ton of gear – just a tent, sleeping bags and pads, a camp stove, and food – but the weight sure does add up! Thank you for hosting!

  11. Love your haircut! I’m about ready to chop mine off. I want to donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Your pictures from the trails and backpacking are breathtaking! I love hiking when we vacation in the Smoky Mountains. Hope your marathon training group continues to go well. I look forward to following your training.

    1. Thank you! I donated mine also, which made the decision to chop much easier. You’ll love how light it feels and how quickly it dries after the cut! Hiking in the Smoky Mountains sounds so fun! And thank you, the first week is going well – so proud of my athletes!

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